On a beautiful sunny Wednesday afternoon in the Nation's Capital, Washington, DC was buzzing; blanketed under a cloud of smoke as it was the smokers national holiday, 420. The aroma of dank ganja could be smelled in the air. I had the great pleasure of attending One Love Massive’s, Massive Love Block Party. Held at the historic Union Terminal, the block party was to celebrate the relaunch of their website. A multimedia cultural nucleus of the DMV’s [DC/MD/VA] artistic renaissance, One Love Massive invited festival goers to enjoy an afternoon of great music provided by 8 local bands and 9 local DJs. The day was to be the very definition of their motto, Good Music, Good People, and Good Times.
Along with the lineup of impressive musical talents, the block party offered a live art exhibitions. One of which was artist Ryan Hilman who provided a live glass blowing demonstration, which was amazing to watch. Also in attendance were graffiti artists Eric B, Jah One, Mr 23, and Dr. Pill Cosby. The artists transformed a wall into a mural of 4 paintings. The artists painted during the entire event. As the sun set, the wall gradually became the perfectly beautiful backdrop of the day.
The mural was complemented by an array of local vendors. Vendors like One Collective, the lifestyle brand created in 2013 by Marcus Blount, which reflects the different styles and interests of his crew while representing them as one. The Board Bus, the world’s only fully-stocked, walk-in skate shop on wheels that features skateboards, longboards, equipment, skate-surf apparel, and much more. Hemp Kettle Teas served refreshingly delicious blends of organic loose leaf teas made with herbs, spices, and hemp seeds. American artist Randy Heart allowed attendees to stroll down Dreamer’s Ave. to meet his 2010 character Parker Cloud, as well as Parker’s friends. A euphoric leader in his community and classroom, Parker inspires children to reach for their dreams no matter how impossible they may seem. There were also countless vendors offering unique 420 paraphernalia. All the vendors were welcoming and inviting. There wasn’t a pushy salesperson among the lot. They were all warm and proud to share their wares with attendees.
One of my favorite vendors of the night was Capital Candy Jar. Although their products are not infused, they were definitely there to take care of the 420 celebrators. They made s'mores to order with homemade marshmallows whose flavors ranged from classic vanilla to salted caramel to hazelnut coffee. With this array of flavors and available chocolate toppings like milk or dark chocolate and Reese’s peanut butter cups, there was no limit to the combinations festival goers could create to satisfy their munchies.
Other edibles available included Butter Nugg Cookies. Butter Nuggs are lime green cookies made with copious amounts of OG Kush shatter, which are sure to sit you still with one bite. Pink Fox passed out samples of their delicious infused goodies. Their Cheez-Its and chocolate chip cookies hit your nose as soon as the seal was broken on the package, and I must admit they were quite tasty. Chef Zeke was also on hand with macaroons, cupcakes, and popcorn bites covered with melted chocolate and marshmallow. The Dab Divaz and Phone Homie also shared their potent treats of Dabs with attendees. Both had long lines waiting for the chance to take a hit from their rigs.
The atmosphere was comfortable and the crowd of over 1000 people, including myself, did not seem to notice when the impressive lineup of talented local music acts did not start on time. It had been at least an hour after the first act was scheduled to hit the stage before I noticed. With the vendors, the free dabs of marijuana, the infused goodies, DJs spinning nonstop mixes, and an acapella Hip Hop cypher that spontaneously erupted in the center of the crowd, I managed to lose track of time.
The cypher, a pure display of lyricism, included local rappers such as Stef is Dope, Nature Boi, Born I Music, Ardamus, The Watermelon Man, MacGuyver, Santos, and Go Ezko just to name a few. Each of them, lyrical assassins in their own right, proved Hip Hop is alive and well in the District of Columbia. Not one verse about lean sippin, flashy cars, hoes, or name brands was uttered. Each rapper displayed their witty wordplay over a makeshift band that included Leftist percussionist Ebadullah, drummer Warren G Crudup III, and a trombone player. MUNDY herself even slid through the cypher leaving melodic footprints. Watch the cypher here.
The delay was caused by a faulty generator with only one working channel as opposed to the needed two channels. The technical difficulties were eventually repaired hours later, allowing the show to go on. The crowd’s patience was rewarded with performances from Born I Music, Identity Krisis, Jenna Camille, Leftist, and Adam E. Project.
Barely visible due to lack of lighting, Born I Music (who also filled the role of co host alongside Stef is Dope) performed one of my favorite songs, “Supreme Mathematics.” The song produced by Blvck, is a unique blend of urban Hip Hop and club oriented electronica got the crowd going. Born I Music is easily one of the best talents the DMV has to offer.
Alternative Hip Hop / Rock band Identity Krisis (also known as IDK) whose members consist of Cortez Marz (vocals), Killa Kidd (bass), Kirby Woodstack (drums), Nova Gawd (guitar), and Solo Dolo (guitar), literally rocked the GrindStone stage. The band performed several of songs off the album “Krismerica” including crowd favorites “Kiss and Tell,” “Fuck The Neighbors,” and “Silent Serenade.” They also performed a cover of Nirvana’s hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live and it was not a disappointment. They commanded the stage, got the crowd involved, and had fun the entire time. The band is a definite must see. Check out their GrindStone performance here.
Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Jenna Camille took the stage and cast a spell on the crowd with her sweet melodic tone. She performed an energetic set which included the Fat Kneel produced song “Feel It,” backed by YeloKake, Supr, and Warren G. Crudup III. Despite the mic failing from time to time during her set, she still managed to make a fan of me. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to see this songbird live.
Described by listeners as Alternative, Hip-Hop, Rock, and Soul wrapped up in one, the band Leftist got the crowd bouncing. The band consists of members Nurideen Bashir, Mouhamad Diabate, Mahir Maruf, Mark Hatcher and Ebadullah Ebi Ebadi. “Pop-rhythmic-soul” band Adam E Project (AEP), is comprised of Adam El-Alfi better known as Adam E (lead vocals), Charles Amuzie (bass/lead guitar), Jeff Boyd, (drums), and Jerel Cook (lead guitar) also blessed the crowd with a blazing set from the GrindStone stage.
Overall I give the Massive One Love Block Party a B. Although plagued with technical issues, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. At no time were there any issues among festival attendees or the different musicians and artists. The vibe was laid back, with some choosing to take a load off and sit on the ground right in the middle of the space. Blame it on the marijuana or credit it to a good crowd that understood what the day was about, One Love Massive definitely put on a great block party and i can’t wait until the next one rolls around.
See more photos courtesy of LuvlyKey Photography here.
Written by Ki for Misfit Tunes (c) 2016
Follow Ki on Instagram @Im.Just.Ki & Twitter @Im_Just_Ki